Five days ago we awoke to the familiar European sound of scooters buzzing and horns blowing over the constant droning of cars, while below us on the street; a passionate discussion was in full swing. Ah Roma…mayhem and chaos yet vibrant and elegant at the same time!
We stayed at the Domus Victoria, a super friendly family run hotel; clean, neat and easy on the pocket-book with tons of great reviews to back them up!
Eager to feel the pulse of the city, each day we’d head out to experience a new café offering a typical Italian breakfast; an espresso or cappuccino and a cornetto (pastry).
Rome is a walkers’ paradise. We never bothered taking the local bus or metro system (although the transportation system is very good) – we couldn’t! Not when every street, alley and corner is chock-a-block full of sights, sounds and smells to seduce your senses.
No matter which way you turn, historic sites and impressive monuments appear at every step. You’ll be captivated by the Roman Forum Walk, the Coliseum of epic proportions and marvel at the magnificent Pantheon. Rome’s imperial glory has never left. The ancient Roman Wall, monumental gates and ample ruins are spread throughout the city!
Rome has the most Obelisks in the world. I read there are 8 Ancient Egyptian, 5 Ancient Roman and numerous modern Obelisks.
Besides Vatican City and St Peter’s Basilica, there’s an impressive church on every corner – each with its own historical relics. And each possesses some of the most beautiful paintings, frescoes and sculptures you can possibly imagine.
With all the churches, historical sites and monuments, you wonder how they manage to fit in the numerous bars, restaurants and retail stores…but they do! There’s a gaudy souvenir store on every block flogging everything from plastic gladiator-wear to bobble head popes, and in contrast, an impressive selection of stores offering expensive and elegant clothing, jewelry, trendy home décor and the best of Italian artistic design. It’s undeniably a shoppers’ paradise!
Then there is the food….since we’re on a budget, we picnicked quite often, but there was never a problem finding delicious local Italian deli cuisine to take away. Sit by “The Fountain of the Four Rivers” in the lively Piazza Navona or by the statue of Neptune on the Piazza Popolo and enjoy watching the crowds and the buskers…this is without a doubt the best seat in the house! With over 25 Piazza’s (Squares) in Rome, you can try a different Piazza of the city every day. But if you’re yearning for a quiet, natural setting, Rome has one of the largest areas of green space of all the major European capitals. Many are beautifully landscaped gardens with fountains surrounding villas.
Such an amazing city and still so much to see and do! Since we’ll be back to Rome for another five days at the end of our trip, we’ll save the site tours, museums and Vatican for later.